It is hard for me to reconcile the screwby of war because of men like Fick and Colbert: war -- pure war, the art of war, the state of war, the eternal and undying unfortunate truth and fact of war -- makes them beautiful. Or they make war beautiful. There is something glorious, and pure, in applying your strength solely so that other people can live. There is an innate need for strength and the war inside to prove itself: to protect, to serve by protecting. To love that way. I can't get away from the jargon and the worn out ... Okay, how about this?
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
Agatha Christie said that. When I talk about war, that's all I'm saying. That's her war. We venerate that love, that passion, that fire; it's inviolate, when you turn it around like that. But that's what it's like, if you're doing it right. But the screwby is that nobody is the paragon that they want to be, they get tired or selfish or stupid; and worse, there are people who don't even want to be that: and those are generally the ones that are actually fighting. If you're not officer material, you get turned into a thing, and if anybody cared what happened after that, they'd see what they did, and they'd never stop thinking about it.
The screwby is that, from a not-too-bizarre angle, the military is a machine for killing our surplus poor people. The military is an engine whose purpose is the procurement of mineral rights and industrial manufacturing contracts for the most evil men in the world. The military is a violent institution populated by the vacuous, the venal and the forgotten. That's the screwby. War is good/war is bad: Screwby.
Evan is digging a hole. Or he was, until he was completely exhausted. There's fire in the distance, and radios going wild. Brad asks him if he's okay, and he smiles. "Just...sucking wind." Brad smiles and goes dark. He thinks, looks up, tries to get to Evan's eyes. "What happened today..."
Brad holds his gaze for awhile, but the words don't come. He looks away; it's awful. Iceman takes over. "You need to square those walls. You'll never make any progress digging that way."
Protocol. Standards. Brad's SOP: hospital corners and square walls, so you don't go crazy. So the endless digging doesn't pull you in after it. You'll never make any progress digging that way. Square those walls/never stop digging. Brad walks up, up the hill, and away. Evan continues to dig.